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Julie's Story

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After a brave battle with cancer, Julie Ann (Harrison) Durst passed from this world on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016.
Julie was a devoted, caring and thoughtful wife, mother, daughter, sister, teacher and friend whose kindness, compassion and enthusiasm for life meaningfully impacted those who were fortunate to have known her. Julie truly made a difference in this world and will be missed by all.
Julie was born Oct. 26, 1963, in Houston, Texas, to her loving parents, Dr. Willis and Mary Harrison. When she was 3 years old she moved to Canyon, Texas, where she lived with her family until graduating from Canyon High School (CHS) in 1982. As a student at CHS, she was a three-year varsity cheerleader, a Student Council officer and a regional officer for Future Homemakers of America. Julie graduated from Texas State University in 1987, with a Vocational Home Economics Education degree. She excelled while in college, actively serving as a state officer for the VHETAT Student Teachers Association of Texas and was a devoted member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority.
After graduation, Julie married the love of her life, Steven Paul Durst, in 1987. Married for 29 years, the joyful life they built together centered upon the love of family, friends and the communities they served and lived in. Julie was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the First United Methodist Church of Rockwall and a 25-year sponsor of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.
A talented and caring teacher for almost 30 years, Julie touched the lives of countless students, teachers and members of the communities she lived in. Julie taught at Parkland High School in El Paso, Texas (1987), Northwest ISD in Grapevine (1989-1995), Robinson High School in Waco Texas (1996 -1999), and Wheaton Warrenville South in Wheaton, Ill. (2000-2006). She most recently led the fashion and design department of Rockwall Heath High School in Heath, Texas (2006 to present).
Julie excelled and thrived during her last 10 years at Rockwall Heath. Leading by example, Julie tirelessly worked to advance the academic and personal interests of her students and the Rockwall community at large. Working with her students, Julie organized numerous fundraisers supporting various charities, including Women In Need, the Red Cross, Make A Wish, Rainbow Room, the Domestic Violence Center and activities supporting Rockwall students serving in the military. Our beloved Julie was a force of nature, touching countless lives with her warm smile, boundless energy and commitment to education and community service.
Julie is survived by her husband, Steve; sons Brian, Matt and Jake; parents Mary and Willis Harrison; brothers Monte Harrison and wife Terri and Ward Harrison and wife Dyana; a niece, Lena; and nephews Dylan, Tanner, Ian, Will and Sam; along with a host of loving friends and students.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Bruce and Pearl Harrison and Lena and Ray Brown.
The Durst and Harrison families would like to thank friends, family and the entire Rockwall community for their steadfast support during Julie's illness, including Lynn and Tom Purmal for their steadfast care of Julie during her illness. We will be forever grateful for your generosity and kindness.
Her funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at First United Methodist Church, 1200 E. Yellow Jacket Ln., Rockwall, Texas 75087, with Dr. Joe Pool officiating. Interment will follow at Dream Land Cemetery, 26500 US-87, Canyon, Texas 79015 with Rev. Rick Emmis officiating.
The family will receive friends Friday at Rest Haven Funeral Home-Rockwall Chapel from 6 to 8 p.m.
Memorials in Julie's name may be made to the Rockwall Heath High School Julie Durst Scholarship Fund at 801 Laurence Dr., Heath, Texas 75032, or to a charity of choice.
Published on November 9, 2016
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